Wii HD set for 2011 launch?

Source: Parent-oriented gaming site What They Play. What we heard: Though Sony touts its consoles as having a 10-year life cycle, traditionally a new generation of machines is introduced every five or six years. With the launch of the Xbox 360 in 2005 and the PlayStation 3 and Wii a year...

334 Comments

Source: Parent-oriented gaming site What They Play.

No Caption Provided

What we heard: Though Sony touts its consoles as having a 10-year life cycle, traditionally a new generation of machines is introduced every five or six years. With the launch of the Xbox 360 in 2005 and the PlayStation 3 and Wii a year later, it only seems logical that the next console wave should arrive sometime around 2011 or 2012.

Given that precedent, What They Play's prediction that Nintendo's next console will arrive "by 2011" isn't exactly Earth-shattering. Nor is the site's citing of unnamed sources that the console will be a "true 'next generation'" machine with high-definition graphics and a built-in high-storage capacity to accommodate "greater emphasis on digitally distributed and backwardly compatible content."

The article correctly points out that Nintendo has downplayed the importance of the Wii's lack of hi-def and high-storage this generation, but the company has reversed itself before. While Nintendo similarly dismissed the role of online connectivity during the GameCube era, now the Wii's online capabilities are key to its business strategy. Besides offering online multiplayer, the company profits from digitally distributed WiiWare and Virtual Console releases, updates the console's firmware remotely, uses the console's blue light as a consumer alert, and provides news, weather, and Mii sharing over the Internet. The Wii even has its own browser, courtesy of Opera Software, and the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection joins DSes worldwide.

More shocking perhaps is What They Play's report that Nintendo is already showing off a prototype of its next console. Unlike the leak-prone Microsoft, Nintendo is known for its secrecy--present rumors of a new DS excluded--and kept a tight lid on the Wii back when it was known as the Revolution. At E3 2005, the company merely had a nonfunctional mockup of the console itself, and didn't even tout its innovative controller until the Tokyo Game Show one year before the Wii's launch.

The official story: "Nintendo doesn't comment on rumors in general."--Nintendo rep.

Bogus or not bogus?: Not bogus. Normally, it's easy to dismiss a random story on a random blog. Not this time. The article's author is John Davidson, a veteran game journalist and former staffer at Ziff Davis Media, publisher of the respected magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly and proprietor of widely read game site 1up.

If anyone were to have access to those in the know, it'd likely be Davidson. However, not content to merely cite unnamed sources, he backs up by running down how Nintendo's massive research and development budget tripled in 2007, the year after the Wii launched. In 2007, the Kyoto-based company spent a staggering $370 million on R+D, over 10 times what it did in 2003. If that money's not going to a new console, then where is it going?

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Join the conversation
There are 334 comments about this story
334 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for vorpal8
vorpal8

Well as long as a WiiHD can include support for at least 2 additional higher res modes like 1280x960 and 1440x960 which is double the current resolutions, and an added support for 6-8xAA (n64, GC and WII only support 2xAA) and with a bit more video ram it would be nice for better graphics. If you are 30+ years old and have been around since the dawning of classic gaming, then you would realize that Graphics don't make the games more fun or entertaining. Games were fun back in the day because developers were forced to be creative. Now a days, they have so much room to work with that a lot of developers forget about being creative and just make games that look good because they can. So they should make the WiiHD exactly like the current Wii but with upgrades to some key hardware and keep it 100% compatible with current Wii games and stuff. Lots of other innovations created by Nintendo were reintroduced by other companies (Sony, Microsoft ect) after nintendo gave them the idea. The first controller to include the L and R buttons (Snes) were followed by many others. The 360 degree controller of the n64, followed by others. Nintendo knows what they are doing. They been around for over 100 years and that should be proof enough.

Avatar image for cyberdejin
cyberdejin

What defines the 7th Generation of consoles ? -HD Graphics ? - Motion Control ? - Giant Data Storage ? - Online services ? If your answer is "ALL OF THEM" so there are only 2 consoles that fit the 7th Generation technology (PS3 & XBOX) . YES, wii made a revolution with its motion controller but it was not enough to say "wii is a 7th gen console" . It is certain that only after WiiHD comes out with the features listed above, it will catch up with Sony and Microsoft. "WiiHD" wont be a Next-Gen (8th gen) console. It will fullfill the 7th gen. requirements. Currently it is a "6,5th gen console" ...

Avatar image for sbmqwerty
sbmqwerty

except from nes to snes the home consoles have doubled every system and the handhelds are always one sytem behind so the wii2 should have 512mb graphics card

Avatar image for sbmqwerty
sbmqwerty

i want to be able to hook it up to my monite rand have all games be downloadable i can't use a wii with just a moniter without a thrid party device

Avatar image for i_am_snake
i_am_snake

its never too late to comment here right? But its about time for an HD nintendo console. Nintendo's great but they are always holding back. I dont know if that just a marketing strategy or what but I dont think it'll help them.

Avatar image for JunpeiHermes
JunpeiHermes

buying a wii now makes sense,im speaking because of wiiHd

Avatar image for aniteshchand
aniteshchand

That's cool! Do you guys think that the Wii HD(whatever) will have better graphics than the PS3 and 360? PC is unbeatable so don't mention that. I personally think it won't because Nintendo is not really out for graphics from what I have seen. I think last gen was Xbox> PS2> GC. This gen is like PC>PS3=360>Wii. PS3 is equal to 360 except on exclusives, and multiplats today are even on both PS3 and 360. So yeah I think that Wii HD will have more updated visuals but will not have better graphics than PS3 and 360. I personally think that it is a bad move since the current Wii sells freakin crazy. 250,000 a week in presume.

Avatar image for diggyman
diggyman

The new Wii (whatever it's gonna be called) will probably do very well. They will have to keep cost low, since they brought on this new 'casual gamer' following. That market won't be too thrilled about having to pay $450 for a new system. All Nintendo needs is Better graphics, smoother motion control, and a (FREE) robust online system. $299.99? sold. ;) (I just made up that price)

Avatar image for BelmontV
BelmontV

I don't really like the Xbox 360 (I bought one and eventually traded-it-in, I'm now going to purchase a PS3 which I believe will be much more functional and fun to play with). However I've always owned a Wii (since 2008) and I have to say I really like it, I have about 35+ VC games and its a fun console, thought the amount of useless games distributed by 3rd party developers is annoying, some games are really worth having the console. (NOTE: Some Xbox 360 games are REALLY good, but its just not my type of console, its good, but its just not for me).

Avatar image for Koudai2008
Koudai2008

@robinson chase: I think all they gotta do is partner up with ATI and IBM again. Get a nice little quad-core processor from IBM and get ATI to do the HD graphics and it should be excellent. They already did good enough for me on the Wii and I consider myself to be a hardcore gamer. HVS is doing some awesome things with their Quantom 3 tech on the Wii in games like The Conduit and Gladiator A.D. I can't wait to see what Legend of Zelda and Metroid can look like in HD. As for an HD format, I'd kind of like to see them go to somebody to make a disk with at least the same capacity as that of the HD DVD if not the Blue-Ray and a disc drive could easily be made by Panasonic. I'll be getting it no matter what they do, though, so long as they keep it under $300. I've just always been a big fan of the big 'N. I can't wait to see what games like Legend of Zelda and Metroid look like in HD. I imagine that it'll have a deep HDD and maybe (hopefully) the ability to record songs to it to be used as a custome playlist in all games. I'm getting kind of tired of Excite Truck being the only Wii game (that I know of) to use a custome soundtrack from my SD card. I won't really mind if it doesn't play movies, either, as I already have a good DVD player made by Pioneer.

Avatar image for Koudai2008
Koudai2008

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for HotWine
HotWine

Is this the system that will release the ergonomically insane glove that I've heard so much about? And what is Nintendo going to release as far as hand held systems? I'm fairly certain Apple is going to come out with a hand held that has at least Wii-type graphics and maybe better. It might be in HD too!

Avatar image for oneEnigma
oneEnigma

this is impossible with the current hardware, also theres already released a cable that gives a slightly sharper screen on a HDTV even though its not real HD. Nintendo should stop making too many consoles and focus on gamers for the casual audience aswell we dont wanna switch to a new console every 2 years. Atleast make it an expansion of some sort to the Wii. I hope theres atleast 2-3 years more in the WIi although it visually already is looking a bit behind

Avatar image for kurtven
kurtven

I hope it will be possible to trade the Wii for a Wii 2, and still keep those VC games, I have3 bought.

Avatar image for Evenk93
Evenk93

If the Wii would be upgraded to HD, that means they need more powerful hardware, new format, hdmi output.. basicly they would release a brand new console the sise of a ps2.

Avatar image for Lance-Marvelous
Lance-Marvelous

Nintendo Wii is cool but a rip off 480i or p Garbage, 360 is 5 games, lol & Ps3 the illest of them all Tru Hate all you want I did Not LIE....100%

Avatar image for spicyramen08
spicyramen08

I loved my Nintendo Wii and had bought myself the Wii Fit around Christmas. Then, some gangsters stole it and my x360 and games. Now...I own a ps3, just so I had a well-rounded understanding of each gaming experience. They are each very different, but although I miss my Wii, I just could not bring myself to buy into another one with the extra money I would have to spend to replace everything. It would be awesome to have all three consoles, but the x360 and PS3 is the type of gamer I am... other than zelda and mario games I will defintely miss.

Avatar image for paper_boy
paper_boy

I can imagine them going Sega's direction and releasing an addon that makes it more powerful.

Avatar image for Karrotjuce
Karrotjuce

the wii is amazing... i frankly d0ont like very realinstic-looking games, but HD would be alright.

Avatar image for D3dr0_0
D3dr0_0

As long as it isnt $400 and backward competable to the games I already own I'll buy it but this 5 year thing realy needs to stop these systems can go on for longer I still have my PS2.

Avatar image for leoleez
leoleez

wowza

Avatar image for ckat609
ckat609

I really don't care... the Wii was a complete disapointment for me... Ended up costing more than the 360 and it only got 4 games I really liked. I ended up selling mine. :(

Avatar image for yrret876
yrret876

till next year little guy

Avatar image for yrret876
yrret876

OMFG HD that **** is so advanced

Avatar image for greg_g33
greg_g33

Another 3 years for the console that should've come out 3 years ago

Avatar image for Gohansephiroth
Gohansephiroth

meh it was bound to happen sooner or later, i just hope they get better third party games the next time around. Ill buy it regardless anyway since all first party games have always been very polished and well made.

Avatar image for Timmy_Gwar
Timmy_Gwar

...Nintedno used to be cool...

Avatar image for Timmy_Gwar
Timmy_Gwar

Nintendo Wii=$300 Extra Wiimotes=$50 each Wiimote bateries=$8 Nunchuck Attachments=$20 Games=$50 each More Wiimote batteries=another $8 Wii-wheel=$15 each Wii-Zapper=$25 Again, more Wiimote batteries (out of duracell)=$10 Wiimote "superior motion attachment"=Not even out yet, but probably $20 each Nintendo taking all of my money and then shunning the console=Priceless

Avatar image for gnrlstuart
gnrlstuart

wii wiiHD = nes snes its a new console not a revision, wii already kinda has HD with a seperate component cable. IMO nintendo made the right decision, not everyone has enough money for an uber expensive HDTV and console, the xbox and ps3 are powerful, but not enough to made HD gaming shine like on a pc playing crysis, they took their time and waited for thy HD era to come along, rather than pulling it unwillingly upon us(and our walletsXD)

Avatar image for gonzalezj1
gonzalezj1

It't not a new version of the Wii. It's being called Wii HD like how there was an NES then a Super NES. It will be a completely different machine.

Avatar image for BradBurns
BradBurns

"If that money's not going to a new console, then where is it going?" Certainly NOT towards new games for the Wii.

Avatar image for Echo13791
Echo13791

Release 'better' models of handhelds is one thing, but consoles as well? I personally find there to be NO point in buying this newer Wii. They should just release a console with the next wave, and that time do it right

Avatar image for 9mmSpliff
9mmSpliff

so many dumb people in here with dumb answers.

Avatar image for yabbal
yabbal

I think the big problem for Nintendo is that their current customer base is made up of a large number of casual gamers who dont see the point in replacing the system just for better graphics, so once the current Wii support is dropped for the new model, those people will not bother to upgrade. My bet is that Nintendo are spending all that money on researching new forms of interactivity to make sure they have a nice big carrot to entice those people to upgrade.

Avatar image for BLuFAlc0n
BLuFAlc0n

actually, 360 are 'next' gen, nothing new apart from Graphics and HDD, the Wii however is the REAL NEW gen, coz they've changed the way of gaming, probably the 'Wii HD' is Nintendo's 8th gen or 7.5 gen.

Avatar image for ninja_where
ninja_where

Great, so we only have one year left to play it once it comes out...

Avatar image for shani_boy101
shani_boy101

Nintendo is going to crash and burn one day. They think they're smart-alecs by releasing a casual console with crappy PS2 graphics with purposely not-so-good motion-control as it saviour and then releasing pricey add-ons to make it what it should have been years later to get more profit. They should think about keeping up with technology instead of dragging behind it.

Avatar image for Huskerfied
Huskerfied

and with the economic crisis nobody is going to be able to buy it in this country. just kidding thats too grim. but seriously, this is interesting but....isn't that the PS3, it doesn't take a genius to say, hey lets copy them, i think that whole "370 million" could have been reduced to 500 or 600 bucks and just buy a PS3. or an Xbox to see how digital distribution is done. so, way to go nintendo, way to do the same thing, only 5 years later.

Avatar image for CorruptGamerGX
CorruptGamerGX

@retrofraction12 Right... the Wii is still stuck between GC and Xbox in a technological point of view with motion contorls as its saviour. I douubt Wii HD will be anything special. Now go back to your corner and continuing playing crappy games like Ninjabread man, Nintendo fanbabies.

Avatar image for robinson_chase
robinson_chase

haha now nintendo will have to pay billions in R&D like MS and especially sony did for this gen...they're gonna need an extremely powerful processor, a high end GPU, a blu-ray drive, and all of the other things that a next gen 1080p system needs. sony was kinda smart because the cell has a lot of power so all they need to do is update it a little bit and get a new GPU for ps4 to kick ass

Avatar image for retrofraction12
retrofraction12

CorruptGamerGX I have only two words for your comment "yo dumb" the HD Wii is not going to be worse than 360 or PS3, technology advances there will be better stuff.

Avatar image for Taylor9124
Taylor9124

I honestly think this is a sign Nintendo is running out of ideas for "creativity".

Avatar image for CorruptGamerGX
CorruptGamerGX

In 2007, the Kyoto-based company spent a staggering $370 million on R+D, over 10 times what it did in 2003. If that money's not going to a new console, then where is it going? Towards more shovelware. Wii HD probably won't even be on par with Xbox 360 or PS3 when they launched. I'm tired of the Wii and its embarrassing PS2 quality graphics with annoying casual crap. This console would be a waste of money just like the DSi.

Avatar image for ctburesch
ctburesch

Why would you want Wii games in HD? crappy games in HD, no.

Avatar image for Black_Kill3r
Black_Kill3r

Interesting.................

Avatar image for leoleez
leoleez

wow, makes me mad why they didn't release this before. But at the same time, the guy whose comment is under me makes sense, it can be a stroke of genius. I hope it is still cheap though, new tech costs a lot. Anyway they better fix the annoying sensitivity problem and put more input methods into this thing, to make it even more pimper, and they need people top make them more good games too.

Avatar image for MatzeEdend
MatzeEdend

I have to agree with Urizen5... this seems like it was what Nintendo was intending to do all along. It seems like a day late and a dollar short, but this might actually be a stroke of genius. By releasing a system like this while the other consoles are still in the middle of their lifetimes, Nintendo can put newer technology into the new system while the PS3 and 360 are still using technology that would be four or five years older. The Wii us just to keep us occupied and provide income for the company until the new system is ready.

Avatar image for LostSoul1974
LostSoul1974

I interested to see how this pans out.....

Avatar image for Urizen5
Urizen5

This always seemed to me Nintendo's plan. Make a cheap innovative system designed to bring in capital. Take a loss to the standard gamer for one "generation". Then take that capital to finance a truely awe-inspiring system without taking a hit on R&D. Then double your capital with new gamers you brought in plus the Old gamers coming back. Sounds like a brilliant business strategum to me.

Avatar image for xNinjaKingx
xNinjaKingx

i think the wii should get more gory games i mean the wii is awesome but how are u gonna get a casual gamers veiw with out a cool game alot of their games are kiddy games T_T like Zelda is good wow Mario Kart will olny have so much to add to it like Necronaux under me said. If they did go bigger and more fighting games it would be cool. some of the games require extra stuff which is annoying like skate thats comin out requires a board, it will probably come with one but still no need for all these attatchments. and they should get better graphics because they always get the short end of the stick with games. if they change the controll scheme back to controller it would be good but KEEP THE NUNCHUCK THING! its fun for an attachment. still if they got WAY better graphics they would be good. im not sayin graphics make a game becuz look at GTA4 it was great graphics but they took ALOT of stuff out from GTA SA like bikes, PLANES of course, and other vehicles. they should apply to ALL GAMERS not just family oriented cuz the only good games ive seen out there for the wii EXCLUSIVLY is LoZ:TP, SSBB, and de Blob XO srry its sorta true